PPP re-emerges in southern Punjab

Published October 12, 2002

MULTAN, Oct 11: The PML-QA has emerged as the single largest party in the southern Punjab by winning 20 national and 39 provincial assembly seats. There are 50 NA and 104 PA constituencies in the districts of Multan, Lodhran, Khanewal, Sahiwal, Pakpattan, Vehari, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar and Rahim Yar Khan.

The PPP is runner up with 16 NA and 26 PA seats. In the 1997 elections, the PPP could not win even a single NA seat and had managed only three PA seats out of 81.

The National Alliance being represented by the Millat Party bagged six NA and eight PA seats. However, four of the six seats of the alliance are won by the Legharis.

The PML-N which had won over 35 NA and 72 PA seats in 1997 could win only two NA and 12 PA seats. The alliance of six religious political parties MMA has performed badly as none of its candidates could win the NA seat in the area which is generally assumed their stronghold due to the presence of hundreds of seminaries. However, the MMA has secured three PA seats — two in Layyah and one in Bahawalpur. Both the MMA seats in Layyah are won by Asghar Ali Gujjar and his success mainly owes to the local alliance he struck with Niaz Ahmed Jakharr of the PPP and Sahibzada Faizul Hassan Swag of the PML-N.

A district-wise glance at the election results shows that the PML-Q swept in Lodhran and Pakpattan districts by winning all the NA and PA seats while it is leading in Muzaffargarh, Vehari and Bahawalnagar districts viz-a-viz NA seats.

The PPP has showed better performance in Multan, Khanewal, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Muzaffargarh districts. The National Alliance has won seats in Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Bahawalpur and Sahiwal. The PML-N has showed its presence only in Multan by clinching two NA and as many PA seats while at the PA level its performance in Vehari is far better.

Millat Party chief Farooq Leghari is the only politician who is returned from two NA (NA-172 and NA-163) and one PA (PP-245) constituencies while his son Awais Leghari has been declared as successful in both NA-173 and PP-247 seats.

The others who have managed to win both against NA and PA constituencies are Sikandar Hayat Bosan (NA-151 and PP-200) and Jehangir Tareen (NA-195 and PP-295). The Muzaffargarh district has a distinction to return two women to the national assembly on general seats. They are Khalida Mohsin Qureshi (PPP) in NA-176 and Hina Rabbani Khar (PML-QA) in NA-177. Khalida’s husband Mohsin Qureshi and Hina’s father Noor Rabbani Khar could not qualify for being under-graduate.

Former NA speaker Syed Fakhar Imam of the PML-QA has been defeated by PPP candidate Raza Hayat Hiraj and Pir Aslam Bodla in NA-156 and NA-158, respectively. His cousin Dr Khawar Ali Shah met the similar fate in PP-212 against PPP’s Syed Mukhtar Shah.

Prominent among losers are Makhdoom Javed Hashmi NA-148, Begum Tehmina Daultana NA-168 and NA-169, Syed Tanveerul Hasan Gillani NA-150, Javed Ali Shah NA-152, Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor NA-190, Makhdoom Shahabuddin NA-194 and Saifuddin Khosa PP-244 and PP-246.

The Khosas of Dera Ghazi Khan, the Mazaris of Rajanpur, the Daultanas of Vehari and the Nawabzadas of Muzaffargarh could not win even a single seat of national or provincial assembly like the Syeds of Khanewal in their respective domains.

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